Reasonable Colors is an open-source colour system for making accessible colour palettes.
It uses an intuitive system of shades to help you select colours which meet the appropriate WCAG contrast rating, even if you're mixing and matching base colours:
@ArneBab This is fascinating - thank you!
What do you use Paul Tol's colour palette for? Graphs and technical diagrams, or something esle?
My visual design work is in producing user interface designs. I think I'd struggle to use his palettes as I couldn't see anything about how to create lighter and darker colour variants.
Going by the WCAG 2.1, as long as any information conveyed by colour is also accessible via another means (e.g. text or icon), it meets the criteria for my UI work.
@chriswood I mostly use the palettes for displaying data (diagrams, maps, …). The main challenge I see is that once you need more than 12 distinct colors that work well for colorblind people *and* look good, you’re pretty much lost.
I worked with our UX team at work to build colorschemes, and the only approach that actually turned out to be viable is to choose a main color and then to adapt the palettes from Paul Tol to match it without losing recognizability for colorblind (i.e. use kmag).
@chriswood If your goal is to meet the acessiblity *requirements*, then just providing an alternate way to distinguish controls is enough. But if you want your UX to be enjoyable to use for colorblind (5% of the population), you can go further and ensure that the colorcoding also works for them.
I learned a lot more when I published a draft for a purely text-based game in the browser for which I thought that it would be trivial to make it fun for blind people, too. It worked in the end, but have a look at the source to see what fraction of the UI is accessibility.
@chriswood I think the most important takeaway is: When you’re going to spend serious time on acessiblity, use some of it to talk to people for whom you do that and ask them what’s missing.
In case of dryads-wake, one change I would have never thought off is to add a first sentence (appears line by line) and actual written clues for controls.
Another point was to actually use a screenreader — that’s what I did before asking anyone else. It was so horrible that I’m glad I tried before asking ☺
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